By Joe Mansfield
Marital Expectations
Marriage Nightmare
The Masked Man
Finding A New Love
How To Talk To Women
Why Men Need Male Friends
Husbands & Other Villains
Little Jester (poem)
One Of the Boys
He's Hopeless

Other articles
That Man Is a Success
A Good Marriage
10 Stupid Things Men Do
To Let Go
Assertive Bill Of Rights
Snow Child (poem)
A Visit To The Guru (humor)

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It's maybe not too clear when you first realized it. To some, it's like being hit by hot lightning. To others, it's a slow buildup, like a connect the dot puzzle. Either way, it's there, you can't ignore it and you can't deny it. The person that you married has a cluster of personality habits that, taken in their totality, make you sick. You have, in fact, married your very own personal nightmare.

This nightmare seems like the worst existential dirty trick ever created. Of all of the literally billions of people on this planet, you got stuck with your complete and essential opposite. How did this situation develop? When will you be woken up and have this loony business come to an end? Then the familiar song plays in your head. "I say either, you say eyether. I say neither, you say neyether - either, eyether, neither, neyether, let's call the whole thing off". Sure - sounds easy! Just call the whole thing off. But how do you "call off" your 11 year old who's half way through his orthodontics and is the only one in the entire world that remembers, without fail, your birthday and actually gets all of your jokes. And how do you "call off" a super-charged 6-year old who's toothless grin, hilarious attempts at mastering reading and writing, and soft concern for small furry things constantly reminds you of the tender joys in life.

So, you can't just call off the marriage. At least not easily. And that's really to your benefit. Because it's extremely important that you take a closer, second look at this deal. You see, it's really not just some cosmic blunder that you happened to fall into erroneously. No, your marriage arrangement !s considerably more than the outcome of a choice made by "two dumb kids, too young to know any better". Your spouse is your teacher. Your spouse represents a beautiful and necessary opportunity. Your spouse is life's way of giving you a second chance at stretching the limits of your experience of life.

But at what price, you might ask? "If the price to be paid is to be driven bananas by an infuriating dodo - just count me out!" - you might holler. But please, just calm down. Look at the big picture. Nothing in nature stays static. Adaptation and evolution have been the ruling force in all creation. So too, it must be with us. There's no standing still. If an individual happens to be extremely shy and introverted, it's no accident that their mate just happens to be the opposite. There's only one way to move out of the nightmare idea. That involves attitude correction.

Stop seeing your spouse as an enemy. Your spouse is really just nature's way to coax you to be.more of a person and to lead you to expand your narrow view of yourself and life. The world is moving and growing rapidly. The world is becoming more and more complex. It is in preparation for the complex life ahead facing our children and their children, that we are challenged to change and expand by our frustrating spouses. It is time to stop hating our spouses for their differences. It is time to understand our spouses and to see them in their true light. You didn't marry your nightmare. You have married the necessary challenge of life.


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